mtools(5)                           MTOOLS                           mtools(5)

       mtools.conf - mtools configuration files

       This manual page describes the configuration files for mtools. They are
       called `/etc/mtools.conf' and `~/.mtoolsrc'. If the environmental vari-
       able  MTOOLSRC is set, its contents is used as the filename for a third
       configuration file. These configuration files  describe  the  following

       *  Global configuration flags and variables

       *  Per drive flags and variables

   Location of the configuration files
       `/etc/mtools.conf'   is   the   system-wide   configuration  file,  and
       `~/.mtoolsrc' is the user's private configuration file.

       On some systems, the system-wide configuration file is called `/etc/de-
       fault/mtools.conf' instead.

     General configuration file syntax
       The  configuration  files  is  made up of sections. Each section starts
       with a keyword identifying the section followed by a colon.  Then  fol-
       low  variable assignments and flags. Variable assignments take the fol-
       lowing form:

       Flags are lone keywords without an equal sign and value following them.
       A  section either ends at the end of the file or where the next section

       Lines starting with a hash (#) are  comments.  Newline  characters  are
       equivalent  to whitespace (except where ending a comment). The configu-
       ration file is case insensitive, except for  item  enclosed  in  quotes
       (such as filenames).

   Default values
       For most platforms, mtools contains reasonable compiled-in defaults for
       physical floppy drives.  Thus, you usually don't need  to  bother  with
       the  configuration file, if all you want to do with mtools is to access
       your floppy drives. On the other hand, the configuration file is needed
       if  you also want to use mtools to access your hard disk partitions and
       DOSEMU image files.

   Global variables
       Global flags may be set to 1 or to 0.

       The following global flags are recognized:

              If this is set to 1, mtools skips most  of  its  sanity  checks.
              This  is  needed  to  read some Atari disks which have been made
              with the earlier ROMs, and which would not be recognized  other-

              If  this  is  set  to  1, mtools skips the fat size checks. Some
              disks have a bigger FAT than they really need to. These are  re-
              jected if this option is not set.

              If  this is set to 1, mtools displays all-upper-case short file-
              names as lowercase. This has been done to allow a behavior which
              is  consistent  with  older versions of mtools which didn't know
              about the case bits.

              If this is set to 1, mtools  won't  generate  VFAT  entries  for
              filenames  which  are  mixed-case, but otherwise legal dos file-
              names.  This is useful when  working  with  DOS  versions  which
              can't grok VFAT long names, such as FreeDOS.

              In a wide directory, prints the short name with a dot instead of
              spaces separating the basename and the extension.

              If this is set to one (default), generate numeric tails for  all
              long names (~1).  If set to zero, only generate numeric tails if
              otherwise a clash would have happened.

              If 1, uses the European notation for  times  (twenty  four  hour
              clock), else uses the UK/US notation (am/pm)

              How  long,  in  seconds,  to  wait for a locked device to become
              free.  Defaults to 30.

       Example: Inserting the following line into your configuration file  in-
       structs mtools to skip the sanity checks:


       Global variables may also be set via the environment:

            export MTOOLS_SKIP_CHECK=1

       Global string variables may be set to any value:

              The format used for printing dates of files.  By default, is dd-

   Per drive flags and variables
     General information
       Per drive flags and values may be described in a drive section. A drive
       section starts with drive "driveletter" :

       Then follow variable-value pairs and flags.

       This is a sample drive description:

            drive a:
              file="/dev/fd0" use_xdf=1

     Location information
       For  each  drive,  you  need  to  describe where its data is physically
       stored (image file, physical device, partition, offset).

       file   The name of the file or device holding the disk image.  This  is
              mandatory. The file name should be enclosed in quotes.

              Tells  mtools to treat the drive as a partitioned device, and to
              use the given partition. Only primary partitions are  accessible
              using  this method, and they are numbered from 1 to 4. For logi-
              cal partitions, use the more general offset variable. The parti-
              tion  variable  is  intended for removable media such as Syquest
              disks, ZIP drives, and magneto-optical  disks.  Although  tradi-
              tional  DOS sees Syquest disks and magneto-optical disks as `gi-
              ant floppy disks' which are unpartitioned, OS/2 and  Windows  NT
              treat them like hard disks, i.e. partitioned devices. The parti-
              tion flag is also useful DOSEMU hdimages. It is not  recommended
              for  hard  disks for which direct access to partitions is avail-
              able through mounting.

              Describes where in the file the MS-DOS file system starts.  This
              is  useful  for  logical  partitions in DOSEMU hdimages, and for
              ATARI ram disks. By default, this is zero, meaning that the file
              system starts right at the beginning of the device or file.

     Disk Geometry Configuration
       Geometry  information  describes the physical characteristics about the
       disk. Its has three purposes:

              The geometry information is written into the boot sector of  the
              newly made disk. However, you may also describe the geometry in-
              formation on the command line. See section mformat, for details.

              On some Unixes there are device nodes  which  only  support  one
              physical geometry. For instance, you might need a different node
              to access a disk as high density or as low density. The geometry
              is  compared to the actual geometry stored on the boot sector to
              make sure that this device node is able to  correctly  read  the
              disk. If the geometry doesn't match, this drive entry fails, and
              the next drive entry bearing the same drive letter is tried. See
              section  multiple  descriptions,  for  more details on supplying
              several descriptions for one drive letter.

              If no geometry information  is  supplied  in  the  configuration
              file,  all disks are accepted. On Linux (and on SPARC) there ex-
              ist  device  nodes  with  configurable   geometry   (`/dev/fd0',
              `/dev/fd1'  etc), and thus filtering is not needed (and ignored)
              for disk drives.  (Mtools still does do filtering on plain files
              (disk  images)  in  Linux: this is mainly intended for test pur-
              poses, as I don't have access to a  Unix  which  would  actually
              need filtering).

              If  you do not need filtering, but want still a default geometry
              for mformatting, you may switch off filtering  using  the  mfor-
              mat_only flag.

              If  you  want  filtering, you should supply the filter flag.  If
              you supply a geometry, you must supply one of both flags.

       initial geometry
              On devices that support it (usually floppy devices), the  geome-
              try  information  is also used to set the initial geometry. This
              initial geometry is applied while reading the boot sector, which
              contains  the real geometry.  If no geometry information is sup-
              plied in the configuration file, or if the mformat_only flag  is
              supplied, no initial configuration is done.

              On  Linux, initial geometry is not really needed, as the config-
              urable devices are able to auto-detect the disk type  accurately
              enough (for most common formats) to read the boot sector.

       Wrong  geometry information may lead to very bizarre errors. That's why
       I strongly recommend that you add the mformat_only flag to  your  drive
       description, unless you really need filtering or initial geometry.

       The following geometry related variables are available:

       tracks The  number  of  cylinders.  (cylinders  is  the preferred form,
              tracks is considered obsolete)

       heads  The number of heads (sides).

              The number of sectors per track.

       Example: the following drive section describes a 1.44M drive:

            drive a:
                cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=18

       The following shorthand geometry descriptions are available:

       1.44m  high density 3 1/2 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80
              heads=2 sectors=18

       1.2m   high density 5 1/4 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80
              heads=2 sectors=15

       720k   double density 3 1/2 disk.  Equivalent  to:  fat_bits=12  cylin-
              ders=80 heads=2 sectors=9

       360k   double  density  5  1/4  disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylin-
              ders=40 heads=2 sectors=9

       The shorthand format descriptions may be  amended.  For  example,  360k
       sectors=8  describes  a  320k  disk  and  is equivalent to: fat_bits=12
       cylinders=40 heads=2 sectors=8

     Open Flags
       Moreover, the following flags are available:

       sync   All i/o operations are done synchronously

              The device or file is opened with the  O_NDELAY  flag.  This  is
              needed on some non-Linux architectures.

              The  device  or  file  is opened with the O_EXCL flag. On Linux,
              this ensures exclusive access to the floppy drive. On most other
              architectures, and for plain files it has no effect at all.

     General Purpose Drive Variables
       The following general purpose drive variables are available.  Depending
       to their type, these variables can be set to a string  (precmd)  or  an
       integer (all others)

              The  number  of  FAT  bits.  This  may be 12 or 16. This is very
              rarely needed, as it can almost always be deduced from  informa-
              tion  in the boot sector. On the contrary, describing the number
              of fat bits may actually be harmful if you  get  it  wrong.  You
              should  only  use  it if mtools gets the auto-detected number of
              fat bits wrong, or if you want to mformat a disk  with  a  weird
              number of fat bits.

              Describes  the DOS code page used for short filenames. This is a
              number between 1 and 999. By default, code page 850 is used. The
              reason  for  this is because this code page contains most of the
              characters that are also available in ISO-Latin-1. You may  also
              specify  a  global  code page for all drives by using the global
              default_codepage parameter (outside of any  drive  description).
              This parameters exists starting at version 4.0.0

              On  some  variants of Solaris, it is necessary to call 'volcheck
              -v' before opening a floppy device, in order for the  system  to
              notice   that   there   is   indeed   a   disk   in  the  drive.
              precmd="volcheck -v" in the drive clause establishes the desired

              This parameter represents a default block size to be always used
              on this device.  All I/O is done with multiples  of  this  block
              size,  independently  of  the sector size registered in the file
              system's boot sector.  This  is  useful  for  character  devices
              whose  sector size is not 512, such as for example CD-ROM drives
              on Solaris.

       Only the file variable is mandatory. The other parameters may  be  left
       out. In that case a default value or an auto-detected value is used.

     General Purpose Drive Flags
       A  flag  can either be set to 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled). If the value
       is omitted, it is enabled.  For example, scsi is equivalent to scsi=1

              Instruct mtools to not use  locking  on  this  drive.   This  is
              needed  on  systems  with buggy locking semantics.  However, en-
              abling this makes operation less safe  in  cases  where  several
              users may access the same drive at the same time.

       scsi   When  set to 1, this option tells mtools to use raw SCSI I/O in-
              stead of the standard read/write calls  to  access  the  device.
              Currently,  this is supported on HP-UX, Solaris and SunOS.  This
              is needed because on some architectures, such as  SunOS  or  So-
              laris,  PC media can't be accessed using the read and write sys-
              tem calls, because the OS expects them to contain a Sun specific
              "disk label".

              As  raw  SCSI  access  always uses the whole device, you need to
              specify the "partition" flag in addition

              On some architectures, such as Solaris, mtools needs root privi-
              leges  to be able to use the scsi option.  Thus mtools should be
              installed setuid root on Solaris if you want to  access  Zip/Jaz
              drives.  Thus, if the scsi flag is given, privileged is automat-
              ically implied, unless explicitly disabled by privileged=0

              Mtools uses its root privileges to open the device, and to issue
              the  actual  SCSI I/O calls.  Moreover, root privileges are only
              used for drives described in a  system-wide  configuration  file
              such  as  `/etc/mtools.conf',  and  not  for  those described in
              `~/.mtoolsrc' or `$MTOOLSRC'.

              When set to 1, this instructs mtools to use its setuid and  set-
              gid privileges for opening the given drive.  This option is only
              valid for drives  described  in  the  system-wide  configuration
              files (such as `/etc/mtools.conf', not `~/.mtoolsrc' or `$MTOOL-
              SRC').  Obviously, this option is also a no op if mtools is  not
              installed setuid or setgid.  This option is implied by 'scsi=1',
              but again only for drives defined in  system-wide  configuration
              files.   Privileged may also be set explicitly to 0, in order to
              tell mtools not to use its privileges for a given drive even  if
              scsi=1 is set.

              Mtools  only  needs to be installed setuid if you use the privi-
              leged or scsi drive variables.  If you do not use these options,
              mtools works perfectly well even when not installed setuid root.


              Instructs  mtools to interpret the device name as a vold identi-
              fier rather than as a filename.  The vold identifier  is  trans-
              lated  into  a  real filename using the media_findname() and me-
              dia_oldaliases() functions of the volmgt library.  This flag  is
              only  available  if you configured mtools with the --enable-new-
              vold option before compilation.


              Consider the media as a word-swapped Atari disk.

              If this is set to a non-zero value, mtools also tries to  access
              this  disk as an XDF disk. XDF is a high capacity format used by
              OS/2. This is off by default. See section XDF, for more details.

              Tells mtools to use the geometry for this drive only  for  mfor-
              matting and not for filtering.

              Tells  mtools  to use the geometry for this drive both for mfor-
              matting and filtering.

              Tells mtools to connect to floppyd (see section  floppyd).

     Supplying multiple descriptions for a drive
       It is possible to supply multiple descriptions for  a  drive.  In  that
       case, the descriptions are tried in order until one is found that fits.
       Descriptions may fail for several reasons:

       1.     because the geometry is not appropriate,

       2.     because there is no disk in the drive,

       3.     or because of other problems.

       Multiple definitions are useful when using physical devices  which  are
       only able to support one single disk geometry.  Example:

            drive a: file="/dev/fd0H1440" 1.44m
            drive a: file="/dev/fd0H720" 720k

       This  instructs  mtools  to  use /dev/fd0H1440 for 1.44m (high density)
       disks and /dev/fd0H720 for 720k (double density) disks. On Linux,  this
       feature  is not really needed, as the /dev/fd0 device is able to handle
       any geometry.

       You may also use multiple drive descriptions to  access  both  of  your
       physical drives through one drive letter:

            drive z: file="/dev/fd0"
            drive z: file="/dev/fd1"

       With this description, mdir z: accesses your first physical drive if it
       contains a disk. If the first drive  doesn't  contain  a  disk,  mtools
       checks the second drive.

       When  using  multiple  configuration  files,  drive descriptions in the
       files parsed last override descriptions for the same drive  in  earlier
       files.  In  order  to avoid this, use the drive+ or +drive keywords in-
       stead of drive. The first adds a description to the  end  of  the  list
       (i.e. it will be tried last), and the first adds it to the start of the

   Location of configuration files and parsing order
       The configuration files are parsed in the following order:

       1.     compiled-in defaults

       2.     `/etc/mtools.conf'

       3.     `~/.mtoolsrc'.

       4.     `$MTOOLSRC' (file pointed by the  MTOOLSRC  environmental  vari-

       Options  described  in  the later files override those described in the
       earlier files. Drives defined in earlier files persist if they are  not
       overridden  in the later files. For instance, drives A and B may be de-
       fined in `/etc/mtools.conf' and drives  C  and  D  may  be  defined  in
       `~/.mtoolsrc'  However, if `~/.mtoolsrc' also defines drive A, this new
       description  would   override   the   description   of   drive   A   in
       `/etc/mtools.conf'  instead  of  adding to it. If you want to add a new
       description to a drive already described in an earlier file,  you  need
       to use either the +drive or drive+ keyword.

   Backwards compatibility with old configuration file syntax
       The  syntax  described  herein  is  new for version mtools-3.0. The old
       line-oriented syntax is still supported. Each  line  beginning  with  a
       single  letter  is  considered  to be a drive description using the old
       syntax. Old style and new style drive sections may be mixed within  the
       same configuration file, in order to make upgrading easier. Support for
       the old syntax will be phased out eventually, and in order to  discour-
       age its use, I purposefully omit its description here.

See also

MTOOLS                              22Mar20                          mtools(5)
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